A few tips from Early Childhood Director, Jan Lashbrook, to help you keep your children feeling good over Christmas break!
We all know that the Christmas season brings joy and special events, but it also can bring added stress, late nights, and more consumption of sweets and junk–food. Keeping our children healthy over the holidays can be a challenge, but helping them develop some healthy habits just may reduce the stress and sickness in your home.
Sleep Plays a Vital Role in Your Child’s Health and Growth
Sufficient sleep promotes alertness, performance and memory. Help your child develop healthy sleeping habits early on by making sure they get enough sleep each night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the following amount of sleep for optimum health:
4–12 months — 12–16 hours of sleep (including naps).
1–2 years — 11–14 hours of sleep (including naps).
3–5 years — 10-13 hours of sleep (including naps).
Develop a Regular Bedtime Routine and Stick To It
This will allow your child time to relax and prepare body and mind for bed. Below is a sample routine:
Have a light snack.
Take a bath
Dress in pajamas
Read a favorite story and/or devotional.
Tuck them in with prayer, hugs, and kisses.
Keep Healthy Snacks Available So Kids Don’t Reach for Junk Food
Fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and yogurt have huge health benefits. Some of the attention deficits and hyperactivity we see in the classroom are sometimes as result of too much processed sugar, or just an allergy to the dyes and chemicals that are found in processed foods. The effects food dyes have on children is still being researched, but a study from the University of Southampton concluded that “there is a general adverse effect of artificial food coloring and benzoate preservatives on the behavior of 3 year old children which is detectable by parents.” Eating clean foods (what our teachers call “God food”) may eliminate some of these issues. It’s definitely worth a try!
The holiday season will disappear quicker than a plate of chocolate chip cookies! Rest, rejoice, and enjoy every moment you can with your children.
Jan Lashbrook is the Early Childhood Program Director at Calvary Christian Academy. She and her husband are “empty-nesters,” having raised three children who are all grown and married. Their youngest attended CCA for 12 years, graduating in 2016.